New law requires spay and neuter

Ashley Mcskimming

New regulations affecting pet owners, breeders and shelters that house stray animals in California will make the process of adopting a pet more expensive, but will save the lives of cats and dogs.

Assembly Bill 1634, also know as the California Healthy Pets Act, would make it mandatory to spay and neuter cats and dogs adopted in the state of California.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine introduced the bill to the California State legislature.

If puppies or kittens aren’t more than six months old aren’t spayed or neutered, their owners will be liable for $500 in fines, the law indicates.

Supporters of the law argue that it’ll help save millions of dollars in taxpayer money, as there’ll no longer be a need to euthanize stray dogs and cats.

AB 1634 would allow pets to stay healthy and safeguard communities where stray cats and dogs are very numerous, supporters of the bill argue.

There are a number of animals that are impounded and euthanized all the time, said Helen Brakemeier, director of shelter operations for the Chatsworth-based Department of Animal Services at the City of Los Angeles West Valley Animal Shelter.

“Since this act passed, we have noticed a reduction of animals coming in. It has drastically decreased,” Brakmeier said.

Brakemeir said that even rescue groups aren’t allowed to adopt out their animals unless they’re spayed and neutered.

“Animal shelters have required that all animals being adopted be spayed since 1997,” Brakemeir said. “This new law will hopefully cut down on how many stray animals are brought into our facilities.”

Many breeders and service animal groups argue that the legislation is designed to make puppies and kittens extinct. Opponents of AB 1634 also argue that the law will make it more expensive for them to do business.

But breeders and service animals would be exempt from having to spay and neuter dogs and cats, the law indicates.

The law would affect breeders and service animal groups’ business in that they’d be required to pay increased permit fees to keep their animals intact.

Do you have more to say than a comment? Want any feedback from the writer? Story ideas? Click on The Gripevine.